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Conservation status: Green

This tiny, restless jewel of a bird vies with the goldcrest for the title of the UK's smallest bird. Compared to the goldcrest, the firecrest is brighter and 'cleaner' looking, with a green back, white belly, bronze 'collar' and a black and white eye-stripe. They have a yellow and black stripe on their heads, which has a bright orange centre in males. Like goldcrests, they move through trees and bushes in search of small insects.



Latin name

Regulus ignicapillus


Warblers and allies (Sylviidae)

Where to see them

Evergreen woodland is good place to see firecrests, but they range around in flocks of other small birds during autumn and winter. Then, they can sometimes appear in gardens, along hedgerows and in scrub. Firecrests breed in the UK - mainly in south-east England - though only in very small numbers. Some arrive from across the North Sea in autumn, along with goldcrests.

When to see them

Firecrests are easiest to see in autumn and winter.

What they eat

Firecrests eat tiny morsels like spiders, moth eggs and other small insect food.


EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
-550 territories--




Patrik Aberg, Xeno-canto

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